World champion Peter Sagan took his second win of the 2018 Tour de France on Wednesday, pulling back Sonny Colbrelli on a rising finish straight. Sagan bolsters his green jersey lead with his 10th career Tour win. Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium/BMC) defended his yellow jersey and all the GC riders finished on the same time as Sagan.

The Course

Wednesday was a hilly route consisting of five categorized Breton climbs: two Cat. 4 and three Cat. 3 ascents in the latter half of 204-km. A rise to the finish in Quimper was on a road that was narrow in sections and suited a Classics rider.

Direct Energie Stymied in KOM Bid

Jumping away almost immediately from the start in Lorient were seven riders interested in the day’s KOM points. The septet rolled up a 4:00 lead after 60-km.

Direct Energie’s Sylvain Chavanel, riding his 18th consecutive Tour and in the break on Stage 2, bolted on his breakmates on the first climb of the day and sopped up the KOM points on the two Cat. 4s.

Chavanel then took maximum points on the first climb rated higher than a Cat. 4 in the 2018 Tour. Three riders including Chavanel’s teammate Lilian Calmejean caught up to him before the next Cat. 3. When the action heated up on that climb, Chavanel couldn’t respond. Tom Skujins of Trek, crested first over the next two Cat. 3s in battle with Calmejean to become the first Latvian to wear the polka dot jersey or any jersey at the Tour.

Endgame

By the bonus sprint at 12-km to go, most of the pure sprinters had sifted out of the peloton due to the rugged profile. Julian Alaphilippe took the three seconds, and Van Avermaet grabbed two. Direct Energie tried something else: Estonian Rein Taaramäe skipping away.

Sky took over the front of the peloton and captured Taaramäe with 6-km remaining. The field strung out as Michal Kwiatkowski wound it up at the front.

Philippe Gilbert, who moved up to third on Wednesday, attacked one kilometre from the finish. Van Avermaet took over with 350-metres to go. Colbrelli hit the gas and it looked like he might have the legs to triumph, but Sagan came around him for the victory.

Thursday is even harder, with two climbs of the Mur de Bretagne, the second to the finish line.

2018 Tour de France Stage 5
1) Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:48:06
2) Sonny Colbrelli (Italy/Bahrain-Merida) s.t.
3) Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/Quick Step) s.t.

2018 Tour de France GC
1) Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium/BMC) 18:22:00
2) Tejay van Garderen (USA/BMC) +0:02
3) Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/Quick Step) +0:03

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